Have you ever seen a problem and wanted it to be changed? Maybe somewhere around you, in your family, the life of a friend, your workplace, your church, or anywhere in life, you see a problem that causes pain and heartache to people, and you know it would be so much better if things were different, if the problem was changed. Have you ever felt that?
What do you do when you see such problems? There are different ways to respond to those problems, and they are not all equally good. Even if you have the right heart of wanting a better situation, you might find yourself making the problem worse by how you deal with it. I know that I have had to realize in my life that I at times have rightly identified a problem, but that in my efforts to address it, I have gone about it in the wrong way and just flat out made things worse, at least to some degree. Hopefully there can be positive outcomes as well even if I don’t do everything right, but I would do so much better to learn how to go about addressing a problem the right way.
I certainly have much to learn about that myself, and I expect that many of you may have some good insight into things that would help me and others to hear (feel free to post your comments below with what you have learned). But there is at least one thing that I feel I have learned the importance of, even if I still at times have to learn better how to practice it. I have had a bad tendency in addressing a problem merely to point out the problem and say how bad it is over and over and over again. I have made people feel like I am beating them over the head with the problem. They don’t end up feeling like listening to me, but just want to tell me that they have heard enough already! They have got the point! I can now stop talking, please!
And I can understand that somewhat now. Have you ever known that you have a problem and you would even like to change it and someone comes along and just keeps on harping on how you have a problem? It really doesn’t help too much in the end, is the truth, does it?
I have learned this: Once the problem is identified, let’s not just keep on harping on the problem to the point of angering the person we are talking to. Once we see the problem, we don’t have to state it again and again. Instead, let’s now put our energies into solving that problem. Let’s realize that the person now sees the problem and is ready to be helped in how to deal with it. Sometimes all that is needed is to gently point the problem out to start with and then be done with it; the other person will now be quite capable of handling it. Sometimes there might indeed be the need for a little helpful wisdom of guidance, if we have it to offer. Or maybe some encouragement and help to lift the spirits and give some motivation to tackle the often difficult matter of changing the problem. There are different things that we might do to help at this point. But to just keep on going on and on and on about how there is a problem doesn’t accomplish much good. I have tried to learn that. Maybe it will be a help to some of you to think about that as well.